How to proceed to sublet your apartment?

Are you a tenant of an accommodation and you have to leave for a while? If you are thinking of subletting your apartment, be aware that there are a few legal rules to follow. It is forbidden to sublet a dwelling, if it is an unfurnished lease. However, if you obtain the prior authorization of your landlord, you will avoid any inconvenience, and will be able to sublet without worry.

Certain legal rules must be observed

The subletting of accommodation in France is a practice, in principle, prohibited by the Law of July 6, 1989 concerning residential leases whose use consists of a main residence. However, subletting becomes possible when an agreement is obtained from the lessor.

What is the difference between subletting and joint tenancy?

Subletting consists in making available to a person, designated as a sub-tenant, part of his accommodation or all of it. Everything is done in exchange for consideration (usually a financial payment).

The main advantage of subletting is that it helps to finance the rent to be paid to the landlord, in situations where a tenant must be away for a certain period of time, or is no longer able to live in housing. For example: a worker lands a job to be performed in another city, and must leave his home to earn a living elsewhere. In order to avoid paying two rents, this person may wish to resort to subletting until the end of his lease. It could also be a one-time absence, for example during major vacations.

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When there is no quid pro quo, that is, if a tenant is hosting someone free of charge, such as a family member, this situation is not considered a sublet.

Colocation occurs when each of the roommates signs a contract with the landlord.

From a legal point of view, the person who sublets his accommodation remains the tenant of this accommodation for the entire period of time that the sublease lasts.

Read also: 5 tips to find the right roommate

Owner consent is essential.

Any proposed subletting of a tenant must be transmitted in writing to the owner.

The information can be communicated by registered letter accompanied by an acknowledgment of receipt, or by using the services of a bailiff. The owner must absolutely be informed of the conditions under which the accommodation will be sublet. This includes the duration of the sublease, as well as the price of the rent that will be charged to the subtenant.

The landlord can refuse the sublet proposal. This person does not have to provide the tenant with the reasons for his refusal.

However, if the landlord accepts the proposal, the tenant is required, according to the Alur Law, to provide two mandatory documents to the sub-tenant: first, the authorization to sub-let endorsed by the landlord, and second, a photocopy of the contract concerning the current lease. Because the law stipulates that a tenant cannot demand from a sub-tenant an amount of rent higher than that indicated in his original lease.

What are the sanctions, if the rules are not respected?

A tenant, whose illegal subletting is discovered by a landlord who has not previously given his consent for this situation, exposes himself to the termination of his lease by the lessor.

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A sub-tenant cannot, however, be directly evicted, since the lease contract only binds a tenant to a lessor (and not to a sub-tenant). However, it is completely legal for a landlord to take action against a tenant who does not respect these rules.

Read also: What is furnished flatsharing?

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